The Autonomic Nervous System

The Autonomic Nervous System - The Autonomic Nervous System...

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Unformatted text preview: The Autonomic Nervous System The peripheral nervous system consists of the somatic nervous system (SNS) and the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The SNS consists of motor neurons that stimulate skeletal muscles. In contrast, the ANS consists of motor neurons that control smooth muscles, cardiac muscles, and glands. In addition, the ANS monitors visceral organs and blood vessels with sensory neurons, which provide input information for the CNS. The ANS is further divided into the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. Both of these systems can stimulate and inhibit effectors. However, the two systems work in oppositionwhere one system stimulates an organ, the other inhibits. Working in this fashion, each system prepares the body for a different kind of situation, as follows: The sympathetic nervous system prepares the body for situations requiring alertness or strength, or situations that arouse fear, anger, excitement, or embarrassment (fight-or-flight situations). In these kinds of situations, the sympathetic nervous system stimulates cardiac muscles to increase the heart rate, causes dilation of the bronchioles of the lungs (increasing oxygen intake), and causes dilation of blood vessels that supply the heart and skeletal muscles (increasing blood supply). The adrenal medulla is stimulated to release epinephrine...
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The Autonomic Nervous System - The Autonomic Nervous System...

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